To read the article in its original version you can go directly to Daniele’s blog, here.
August 8, 2016: the day has come. I am heading toward Milan, where my first intercontinental flight is going to take off: my new life at the other side of the world is waiting for me.
Milan-Munich-Charlotte the itinerary. Last “goodbyes” to my family and I am ready to leave, aware that from now on it is going to be completely up to me: I either fail or succeed – and I do love this.
I am here. I am in the USA. The dream country has a new Italian man, fellas!
Not so fast. A line of two hundred people is waiting for their documents to be revised. Oh man, I think, I just stepped here and the first person I have to talk to is an officer. I start building up sentences in my head, but at this time I feel like I have forgotten everything I used to know about English. Where are those eight years of English gone now that I need them? It was waaaaay easier when I just had to answer my teacher’s questions. Photo, digital fingerprint, passport, visa, and an infinite number of questions: my first American test is successful – I am free to go. I walk on looking for the exit, and right there, waiting for me, is my coach. “How you doing Danny? Nice to meet you!”, his first words.
We have started the car and are now on our way to Salisbury, the city where Catawba College is located. Forty-five minutes of enjoyable conversation and there it is, the campus. As soon as I get out of the car, five guys approach me, asking to go play with them. Me and these guys – who I will later call “the boys” because teammates – will be balling out later on during season. As for now, though, I am more concerned about trying to understand what the heck they are saying. Is this English? I feel like I am listening to five different languages! What a sad story are the accents when you are a novice… America, Australia, England, Germany, Iceland, and many more to come. What can I do at this point? Just asking two, three, four, and even five times to repeat. This inexperience with the language is going to give birth to such funny moments that my mates, today, still like to bring up when they try to tease me (thick skin, sorry lads). But these are different stories, and there is plenty of time to tell them all.